Christopher Albeluhn found himself unemployed after 7 years as a game developer. Realizing he needed to update his portfolio, he started to work on building a planet Earth in a Unreal Engine 3 as a simple test for a shader idea. The idea quickly got out of hand and he decided to build the entire solar system. Including all 8 planets, the asteroid belt, and real constellations. The model goes as far as to include gravity wells and the height of each planets rotation around the sun.
Chris currently has his project on indiegogo.com, and while he met his goal of $8,000 dollars, he needs more to complete his real dream. He wants to give his program away to schools and universities as a learning tool. If he gets to $13000, he can donate some copies of The Solar System to Science World in Vancouver BC. With $16000 he will start handing out pc versions for free to school and educational institutions.
His project became noticed when his roommate got word of a youtube video and posted it to Reddit.com. Within a few days his video had 50,000 views on Youtube and he was on his way. After he reached his goal of $8,000 he made a blog update that said: "So I have achieved the financial security I wanted to complete this project while surviving for the next few months." The project has 16 days left to make as much money as possible. And remember that the more he gets in donations, the more copies he can give to schools in need.
Check out the video of the utterly amazing solar system model that he created: